Open Access Improvement of the Cold Storage of Isolated Human Hepatocytes

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Abstract:

Increasing amounts of human hepatocytes are needed for clinical applications and different fields of research, such as cell transplantation, bioartificial liver support, and pharmacological testing. This demand calls for adequate storage options for isolated human liver cells. As cryopreservation results in severe cryoinjury, short-term storage is currently performed at 2‐8°C in preservation solutions developed for the storage of solid organs. However, besides slowing down cell metabolism, cold also induces cell injury, which is, in many cell types, iron dependent and not counteracted by current storage solutions. In this study, we aimed to characterize storage injury to human hepatocytes and develop a customized solution for cold storage of these cells. Human hepatocytes were isolated from material obtained from partial liver resections, seeded in monolayer cultures, and, after a preculture period, stored in the cold in classical and new solutions followed by rewarming in cell culture medium. Human hepatocytes displayed cold-induced injury, resulting in >80% cell death (LDH release) after 1 week of cold storage in University of Wisconsin solution or cell culture medium and 3 h of rewarming. Cold-induced injury could be significantly reduced by the addition of the iron chelators deferoxamine and LK 614. Experiments with modified solutions based on the new organ preservation solution Custodiol-N showed that ion-rich variants were better than ion-poor variants, chloride-rich solutions better than chloride-poor solutions, potassium as main cation superior to sodium, and pH 7.0 superior to pH 7.4. LDH release after 2 weeks of cold storage in the thus optimized solution was below 20%, greatly improving cold storage of human hepatocytes. The results were confirmed by the assessment of hepatocellular mitochondrial membrane potential and functional parameters (resazurin reduction, glucagon-stimulated glucose liberation) and thus suggest the use of a customized hepatocyte storage solution for the cold storage of these cells.

Keywords: Cold storage; Human hepatocytes; Hypothermia; Mitochondrial fission; Preservation solution

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368911X580509

Affiliations: Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Essen, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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